Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/368

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Lee
Lee
362

very elegant Latin. After serving for a short time in the army hospital service he commenced studying law. But in 1804 he became amanuensis, at Inveresk, to the Rev. Alexander Carlyle [q. v.], 'Jupiter Carlyle.' who entrusted him with the manuscript of his autobiography on his death in 1805. Lee was licensed as a preacher in 1807, and after acting for a few months as pastor of a presbyterian chapel in London was ordained minister of Peebles. In 1812 he became professor of church history at St. Mary's College, St. Andrews, and was there chosen rector of the college. In 1820 he became professor of moral philosophy in King's College, Aberdeen, but his lectures there were chiefly delivered by a deputy. In 1821 he resigned both professorships and accepted a call to the Canongate Church, Edinburgh, when the degree of D.D. was given him by St. Andrews University. In 1825 he was translated from the Canongate to Lady Yester's Church, and was appointed a chaplain in ordinary to the king in 1830. He was made principal clerk of the general assembly in 1827, unsuccessfully contested the moderatorship with Dr. Chalmers in 1832, in 1834 became minister of the old church of St. Giles's, Edinburgh, principal of the United College of St. Andrews in 1837, and dean of the Chapel Royal, Stirling, in 1840. In the last year he was also elected principal of the university of Edinburgh. When the disruption took place in 1843, Lee remained faithful to the established church, undertook to conduct the divinity class, and was shortly afterwards made professor of divinity in succession to Dr. Chalmers. He held the office with the principalship. The general assembly elected him moderator in 1844. He was accomplished in almost every branch of knowledge, and in Scottish literary and ecclesiastical history had accumulated most minute and curious information. He collected a library of twenty thousand volumes, and is described by John Hill Burton in the 'Book Hunter' as Archdeacon Meadows the bibliomaniac, who would buy a book of which he had several copies already, and then, not being able to find any of his copies, would have to borrow the same book from a friend for reference. He died in the university of Edinburgh on 2 May 1859.

Lee's chief works were: 1. Six sermons, 1829. 2. Memorials of the Bible Society in Scotland, 1829. 3. 'Dr. Lee's Refutation of Charges brought against him by the Rev. Dr. Chalmers, in reference to the questions on Church Extension and University Education,' 1837. 4. 'Lectures on the History of the Church of Scotland,' 1860. 5. 'The University of Edinburgh from 1583 to 1839, 1884. Lee also edited tracts by D. Fergusson for the Bannatyne Club in 1860.

[Crombie's Modern Athenians, 1882, pp. 135–137, with portrait; Grant's University of Edinburgh, 1884, pp. 271–4; Scott's Fasti, 1868, vol. i. pt. i. pp. 12, 13, 64; Proc. of Roy. Soc. of Edinb. 1862, iv. 212–17; Scotsman, 7 May 1859, p. 4, by J. H. Burton; Veitch's Sermon on Death of Principal Lee, 1849; Inaugural Addresses by J. Lee, with a Memoir by Lord Neaves, 1861.]

G. C. B.


LEE, JOHN (1783–1866), collector of antiquities and man of science, born on 28 April 1788, was eldest son of John Fiott, merchant, London, who died at Bath 27 Jan. 1797 (Gent. Mag. February 1797, pp. 167-8), and of Harriett, second daughter of William Lee of Totteridge Park, Hertfordshire; she died at Totteridge, 25 June 1795. John was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, where he was fifth wrangler in 1806, graduated B.A. in the same year, M.A. 1809, and LL.D. 1816. On 4 Oct. 1815 he assumed the name of Lee by royal license, under the will of William Lee Antonie of Colworth House, Bedfordshire, his maternal uncle. At the same time he acquired the estates of Colworth in Bedfordshire, Totteridge Park, and other lands, and in 1827 he inherited from the Rev. Sir George Lee, bart., the estate of Hartwell in Buckinghamshire. As one of the travelling bachelors of his university in 1807-10, he made a tour through Europe and the East, collecting objects of antiquity. In the 'Archæologia,' 1848, xxxiii. 36-54, he published a paper on 'Antiquarian Researches in the Ionian Islands in the year 1812,' and he presented most of the objects described to the Society of Antiquaries, of which he was elected a fellow in 1828. A printed catalogue of the oriental manuscripts which he acquired in Turkey is in the society's library. He also brought home many eastern coins and medals and casts of engraved gems, and joined the Numismatic Society. On his return to England Lee resumed the study of law, and on 3 Nov. 1816 was admitted a member of the College of Advocates, of which society he was subsequently treasurer and librarian. He remained a practising member of the ecclesiastical courts until their suppression in 1858. At the age of eighty, on 13 July 1863, he was admitted a barrister of Gray's Inn, and on becoming a bencher in 1864 gave 500l. to found an annual prize for an essay on law. On 7 July 1864 he was gazetted a queen's counsel. Throughout his life Lee interested himself in science. With the assistance of his Mend Vice-admiral William Henry Smyth he built